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NJ Family Legal Blog Pertinent Information As It Relates To New Jersey Family Laws

Category Archives: Practice Issues

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USE OF MEDIATION AS A STRATEGY

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues

We have heard over and over that settlement ranks high in the public policy of this state and know from experience how the system is geared toward settlement.  In particular, there is mandatory custody mediation, mandatory Early Settlement Panels (MESP), mandatory economic mediation, Blue Ribbon Settlement Panels, intensive settlement conferences (ISPs or ISCs depending on the county) and the like.  With all of… Continue Reading

DO NOT BE THAT DIVORCE LITIGANT

Posted in Practice Issues

There are always going to be those divorce litigants that, no matter what we say or do as the divorce lawyer, he or she is going to do what they want.  Legal advice, no matter how costly, falls on deaf ears, only leading to more counsel fees and issues to address in an ongoing matter. … Continue Reading

LESSONS IN ADOLESCENT CUSTODY AND CO-PARENTING FROM THE TEENAGE BRAIN

Posted in Custody, Practice Issues, Visitation/Parenting Time

Moody; impulsive; reckless; brash; exasperating. No, I am not describing Charlie Sheen circa 2011.  I am talking about teenagers. Indeed, Aristotle described these elusive creatures as “heated by nature as drunken men by wine” – and that’s on a normal day.  But rest assured Mom and Dad – your teenager is not trying make your life miserable… Continue Reading

NEW JERSEY FAMILY LAW PODCAST SERIES PRESENTS: THE IMPACT OF “GREY DIVORCE” ON RETIREMENT PLANNING

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

In the second installment of our New Jersey Family Law Podcast Series, we are proud to present - Impact of Grey Divorce on Retirement Planning.  Based on one of our earlier blog posts, Robert Epstein and I highlight the practical implications associated with the recent uptick in divorce among the “Baby Boomer” generation – those over the age of… Continue Reading

THE INAPPROPRIATENESS OF LINKING RESOLUTION OF CUSTODY TO RESOLUTION OF FINANCES

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Custody, Practice Issues, Visitation/Parenting Time

Judges want all issues resolved but especially custody and parenting issues.  No issues are more difficult and heart wrenching to decide – especially when facing a true, bona fide custody dispute (and I am not sure that there are really many of those – but occasionally they occur.) Phote courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net The New Jersey… Continue Reading

NEW JERSEY FATHER ORDERED TO PAY $112,000 FOR DAUGHTER’S LAW SCHOOL TUITION

Posted in Child Support, Custody, Divorce, Modification, Practice Issues

Talk about sticker shock.  A New Jersey father was recently ordered to pay more than $112,000 for his daughter to attend Cornell Law School. But is it really shocking?  The parties’ divorce agreement, entered into in 2009, did provide that the parents would split the cost of law school provided that she maintained over a… Continue Reading

TO DEFAULT OR NOT?

Posted in Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Uncategorized

So you’ve made the decision to get divorced.  It hasn’t been an easy decision to make.  You’ve hired an attorney and filed your Complaint.  You wait for your spouse to respond.  Nothing.  One month later; still nothing.  Another month; more nothing.  In the meantime, you are living together in misery.  Bills aren’t getting paid.  The… Continue Reading

NEW JERSEY COURT ‘PUNTS’ JURISDICTION

Posted in Child Support, Practice Issues

As noted by Robert Epstein in his blog post from earlier today, issues surrounding jurisdiction are often complicated and fact-specific.  Luckily, in the recent published decision (precedential) Johnson v. Bradshaw, the Court was able to draw a clear line regarding jurisdiction over support orders for parties that no longer reside in New Jersey. The central… Continue Reading

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT? A FAMILY COURT’S ROLE IN RESOLVING RELIGIOUS DISPUTES BETWEEN PARENTS

Posted in Custody, Practice Issues

Americans are almost obsessed with the ideal that government should be entirely separated from any religion. Indeed, the term “separation of church and state”—a quote from Thomas Jefferson—is the most common label for the freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. But how does this bedrock principle play out when a… Continue Reading

IF HER BOYFRIEND CAN’T BE AROUND THE KIDS, NEITHER CAN YOUR GIRLFRIEND, “TO BE FAIR”!?!

Posted in Custody, Practice Issues, Visitation/Parenting Time

Is it a court’s job to be “fair” or to get it right?  If you file a clear enforcement motion, should a court grant part of the other side’s knee jerk, bogus cross motion, just to give everyone a little something?  When deciding a temporary support amount, should the number be the right number, as… Continue Reading

THE PARTY, NOT THEIR LAWYER, IS SUPPOSED TO CO-PARENT WITH THEIR SPOUSE OR FORMER SPOUSE

Posted in Custody, Practice Issues, Visitation/Parenting Time

As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said when discussing his threshhold for determining obscenity/pornography, “I know it when I see it, ” that is how I feel about emails regarding routine or what should be routine parenting issues that have been drafted not by one party, but by their lawyer.  The pretextual  blathering or legalese that… Continue Reading

WHEN DOES “ENOUGH” MEAN WHAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO?

Posted in Alimony, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

When I am representing the payee spouse (frequently also known as the financially inferior spouse, the spouse whose earning capacity pales in comparison to the payor spouse, and the like), I find it interesting when the attorney for the payor spouse tells me that my client should simply be happy with what her soon-to-be former spouse… Continue Reading

GITAL IS FREE – LESSONS IN HERD MENTALITY AND THE STRUGGLE FOR A GET

Posted in Divorce, Domestic Violence, Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues, Uncategorized

Herd mentality is an interesting thing.  It basically describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, or purchase certain items.  While typically anthropologists thought of this as a survival instinct – i.e. people in groups who espouse common goals may survive longer in pre-industrialized society – it has gotten… Continue Reading

(UN)REASONABLE COMPENSATION – AN EASY WAY TO MANIPULATE VALUE IN A BUSINESS VALUATION

Posted in Equitable Distribution, Practice Issues

We deal with a fair number of cases where a spouse’s interest in a business has to be valued for equitable distribution purposes.   While there are many objective parts of a business valuation report, reasonable (a/k/a replacement) compensation is subjective.   That is why this is one of the first things I look at when partisan… Continue Reading

BACK AWAY FROM YOUR IPHONE – THE PERILS OF SOCIAL MEDIA STRIKE AGAIN!

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues

In reading about the massive case involving dozens of New York firefighters and police officers who are charged with defrauding the Social Security disability system by faking the nature of their own conditions in order to procure government benefits, key pieces of evidence collected by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office include Facebook postings from the accused… Continue Reading

STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN – SETTLEMENT IN MEDIATION

Posted in Counsel Fee Awards, Custody, Divorce, Practice Issues

The golden words in this blog title once spoken by Robert Van Winkle (more famously known by another name) could and should be well heeded by family lawyers and litigants when trying to settle a case.  So why, then, are they so often ignored?  I recently attended a mediation in a case where, as soon as I walked into… Continue Reading

SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DIVORCE: SLOTH

Posted in Divorce, Practice Issues

“Do not put off your work until tomorrow and the day after.” – Hesiod, Greece, 800 B.C. We have all been there – Facebook beckons, the couch looks lonely, or the television seems to feel neglected.  As humans, it is natural to want to engage in activities that will provide us with instant gratification, rather… Continue Reading